Bon Appétit (March 2012)
We're always looking for reasons to make desserts. We don't typically make them for ourselves, unless it's a special occasion. But we love to eat them and we love to showcase them here on the blog.
But there are two occasions when we almost always make something sweet: when someone invites us somewhere (see Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cereal Bars) or when we invite friends over for dinner.
If friends are coming over mid-week for dinner, dessert is usually simple, or something that we can easily make ahead. In the case of this Roasted Pineapple with Honey and Pistachios, it was the former. Our friends Ed and Guy were coming over for dinner on a Wednesday night, and we needed something we could easily throw together in under and hour.
We consume a lot of fruit. We probably eat a dozen bananas a week. And there's no telling how much citrus we've gone through this winter. Clementines, tangelos, cuties, oranges -- we've been devouring them all. Now we're on a grape kick. Other times of the year, it's apples, pears, or peaches. But pineapple never really enters the equation. We never impulse-buy a fresh pineapple -- we only buy them with a specific recipe in mind.
Pineapple, you're being put on notice. Because we're in love with this simple take on Roasted Pineapple with Honey and Pistachios. The method is easy: Core and slice the pineapple, and marinate the pieces in a sweet concoction of orange juice, honey and brown sugar. The pieces are then roasted at a high temperature, flipped and basted with the marinade halfway through. Easy stuff.
Once on the plate, the pineapple is adorned with crème fraîche or yogurt, chopped pistachios and fresh mint. We opted for Greek yogurt in place of crème fraîche -- it was easier to find.
The final result is just about perfect -- caramelized sweet pineapple; cool, tangy yogurt; and crunchy, nutty pistachios. And the whole thing is light and refreshing. We loved it!
But what we really loved about this dessert is how excited it made us for warm-weather cooking. (And Bon Appétit includes a terrific little sidebar about how you can use this fruity-creamy-crunchy template to build an infinite variety of desserts.) We already envision ourselves doing a take-off of this recipe on the grill this summer, letting it marinate for longer and then giving it a slight char. It'll be the perfect dessert to eat at the end of a hot summer day.
In the meantime, it's a delightful end to any spring day.
TIPS FROM ZACH AND CLAY OF THE BITTEN WORD:
- Watch the roasting time on the pineapple carefully to keep the fruit from burning. We definitely kept to the shorter side of the recommended cook time.
Time: 40 minutes
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
1/4 cup crème fraîche or yogurt
1/3 cup natural unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add pineapple; toss to coat. Let marinate, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Place pineapple, one flat side down, on prepared sheet; reserve marinade.
Roast pineapple for 15 minutes. Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized, 10–15 minutes. Drizzle remaining marinade over; let cool slightly.
Divide pineapple among plates. Spoon crème fraîche alongside. Garnish with nuts and mint.